How to Wake Up in the Morning without the Inner Struggle

How to Wake Up in the Morning without the Inner Struggle

If you think about it carefully, you will find that the process of how to wake up in the morning mirrors that of an argument – except it’s yourself you are arguing with. That’s right… When the alarm goes off in the morning, it’s you versus you.

The reason you hesitate to get up in the morning is not because of anything outside yourself. It’s because you talk yourself into staying in bed until the last possible second, which doesn’t even allow you to get any additional sleep – just additional worry, anxiety, and stress.

The truth is, no one can ever eliminate that inner struggle that plagues us in the early morning, but we can learn to drown it out until we don’t even hear it anymore. It takes time and persistence, but it can be done.


waking up in the morning starts with you

Learning How to Wake Up in the Morning Starts with You!

It’s not up to anyone else other than yourself to wake you up in the morning at a decent hour. The sooner you make this your mantra, the sooner you will start getting up earlier and easier!

You don’t necessarily need caffeine or special gadgets to help you wake up, as those are just crutches that can only get you so far and fail to work the moment you stop using them. I am here to remind you that you already know and possess the necessary skills to wake up in the morning. Are you ready to re-activate those skills?

fix your attitude - how to get up in the morning

Fix Your Attitude

This one is a biggie. If you do nothing else that I mention in this blog post, make sure to at least do this one because it will help you with getting up in the morning as well as with pretty much every other challenge in your life. Indeed, your life hinges on your attitude.

I used to have a horrible, repulsive attitude every morning. It didn’t matter how well or poorly I slept, I would consistently wake up angry and full of resent. Angry and resentful at whom? I think it wasn’t at any people in particular, but was partly due to immaturity and partly due to self-inflicted depression. I spent my teens and 20s being an ogre each and every morning. Looking back, my grumpy morning attitude is my single biggest regret.

But all is not lost. Eventually, I figured out that my life and the life of those around me would be happier and more fulfilling if I start embracing my mornings rather than resenting them. Morning comes regardless, amirite? 🙂

I started fixing my attitude, one morning at a time. I realized that it was the junk thoughts in my head that were holding me back. Slowly but surely, I was able to train myself to replace the negative talk in my head with neutral thoughts, and eventually with positive thoughts. It took a lot of patience because I screwed up all the time at first, but now my mental corrective process is automatic.

It hasn’t been easy, but I’m glad I’ve stuck with it. These days I rarely have negativity corrupting my thoughts. On the rare occasions that I do, I’m easily able to laugh it off and redirect the pessimism down a happier path.

Because I’m now able to correct myself when I get off track, I no longer wake up angry. I sometimes wake up groggy and wanting to stay in my warm bed, sure, but my mental state is not negative. This has made all the difference in my life over the past year. Negative thoughts are nothing more than a bad habit that requires a bit of rewiring of the brain.

how to wake up in the morning - find purpose

Wake Up with Purpose

If you don’t know why you want to get up in the morning, then you will probably have a hard time getting up. What is your purpose in life and how will waking up in the morning help you achieve it faster? Repeat your purpose in your head the second you wake up every morning.

Let me just point out that you must have a budding purpose if you are Googling how to wake up in the morning! If you aren’t quite sure what that purpose is, be patient and listen to yourself.

If you still don’t know, I suggest contemplating these questions: Why are you aspiring to get up early? Do you have a goal or hobby you want to work on? How do you envision your life improving in the future? Can you see yourself successful, relaxed, and happy?

My purpose has been to work on a side business so that I can eventually quit my job and do what I enjoy all day. This is the driving force behind why I get up early. This may change over time, but for now, this is what my purpose is, and it is serving me well. Because I’ve been persistent, I am seeing steady progress toward my goal after only a few months, which further encourages me to keep going.

Just Admit It: You’re Never Going to Feel Like Waking Up in the Morning (Early, that is!)

Even with the strongest purpose, when that alarm goes off, the reality is that nobody ever feels like jumping out of bed. Seriously, nobody does. What separates the high achievers from everyone else is that they get up anyway, regardless of how they feel. These people have things to do and goals to accomplish, so they get up without a second thought.

I get up early, but it doesn’t mean I like getting up early.

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn - waking up in the morning quote

Take it from Lindsey Vonn, just because high achievers are up and at ’em early, that doesn’t mean they love it. They just love what they do enough to get out of bed earlier than they want to.

If you, too, find that you don’t love the morning, don’t beat yourself up over it. Hardly anyone truly loves it; they instead love the possibilities and opportunities the morning brings.

And remember: If you always do only what you feel like doing, you’ll never do much of anything aside from robotic Instagram scrolling, Netflix binge-watching, and overeating junk food. Just get up and thank yourself later.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

While it is true that figuring out how to wake up in the morning is up to you, remember that you are never alone. Ask people close to you for help, if needed.

Maybe you need a little accountability to get you up in the morning? There’s nothing wrong with that! If you have a willing spouse or roommate, ask them to hold you accountable somehow in the morning.

If you live alone or they are sleeping or away when you wake up, ask a friend, family member, or co-worker to help hold you accountable.

You can get creative with this. For example, promise to make breakfast for the people in your household or meet someone for coffee shortly after you wake up.

If you want to go the rogue route, promise your boss that you’ll be at work shortly after you wake up. Nothing gets you up faster than the fear of getting fired…

All kidding aside, it is probably better to reserve your early mornings for yourself and your own personal development – not for the benefit of your employer. A coffee date is much more appealing.


How to Wake Up and Not Go Back to Sleep

This section is important because if you’re not careful, you’ll undo all your hard work by falling back asleep after you got up. However, before discussing what specifically you can do to avoid going back to sleep after getting up, consider this poem from 13th Century Persian poet Rumi. It contains gold nuggets of insight that still hold true today. Hopefully Rumi can inspire you to not go back to sleep!

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth,
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch;
the door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep!

Rumi
rumi quote - how to get up in the morning

Get Enough Sleep

Even though Rumi makes a great case for not going back to sleep, I’m sure he would have agreed that you should also be getting enough sleep. I think what he really meant was go to bed early enough and get up when it’s time to get up. 😉

By now, it’s likely that you have a good idea of what enough sleep means for you. That number is different for everyone. For me personally, it’s 7.5 hours per night. Some people I know need somewhere closer to 8.5 or 9. Also, others I know thrive on 6 hours per night.

If you have no idea how much sleep is ideal for you, do an experiment on a day that you do not have to wake up for work or some other obligation. Go to sleep at your normal time. Do not set an alarm – just let yourself sleep until you wake up, but be careful not to lie in bed snoozing after you originally wake up. Once you wake up the first time, physically get out of bed and look at the time.

How many hours did you sleep? That will give you a good idea how much sleep you need. Adjust your bedtime and wake-up time accordingly.

Avoid Failure by Avoiding the Snooze Button

Your best bet is to forget the snooze button on your alarm clock even exists. The snooze button is quite literally the thing that is coming between you and your goals, so treat it like the enemy it is by avoiding it.

Hitting that snooze button is resigning yourself to failure first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed. Is that how you want to start your day… with failure? When the alarm goes off, do Future You a favor and just get up.

It will only be uncomfortable for a minute or two, I promise. After that, you’ll be so proud of yourself for the rest of the day. A couple minutes of discomfort is more than worth a day of success.

Set Up Your Bedroom for Success

How your bedroom is set up is vital to your early morning success. Your external environment is a reflection of your internal state, so if you have your bedroom arranged in a way that is conducive to waking up without a struggle, you will be much happier and much more successful.

no electronic devices in bedroom - how to get up in the morning

For example, it can be very helpful to remove all electronic devices from the bedroom completely. Charge your phone in another room so that you aren’t tempted to use it at bedtime and keep yourself up way too late. Trust me, if it’s there, you’ll use it. The blue light emitted from electronic devices will destroy any chance you have of getting sufficient sleep.

Another thing that has helped me is to make my bedroom a minimalist environment. I only have in there what I need for sleeping, storing my clothes, and holding my alarm clock and water glass. For me, that means my bed, dresser, and night stand. (I also have a small writing desk and chair in the corner because I live in a small apartment and would disturb other people if I do my early morning writing outside the bedroom, but that’s beside the point.)


5-4-3-2-1… Get Up!

Those who avoid thinking (and thus, arguing with oneself) when the alarm goes off have a much easier time getting up early. Save your thinking for later after you’re awake and ready to tackle your to-do list. Until then, just count backward from 5 until you reach 1, then mindlessly swing your feet out of your bed and onto the floor – and get out of bed.

This is what Mel Robbins calls The 5 Second Rule. Many others have variations of it, and all the variations are equally effective. It’s very simple, but it works because it distracts you from talking yourself out of getting up. What you need in order to get up early and change your life is less thinking – not more.

shower - how to wake up in the morning

Go Straight to the Bathroom

Don’t stay all comfy in your bed after you wake up because you’ll just go back to sleep. I also don’t recommend meditating with your eyes closed first thing. Get up immediately and go straight to the bathroom. The act of starting to get ready for the day will deter you from crawling back into bed.

have a plan - how to wake up in the morning

Have a Plan Written the Night Before

This is an extension of having a purpose, which I mentioned earlier in this post. Break down your purpose into actionable steps.

What small step can you take tomorrow morning to advance on that goal or hobby? Whatever small, realistic thing you can do to make progress, write it down the night before. Now you have a plan of action. By accomplishing one small thing each morning, you will quickly achieve success and begin to live out your purpose. 🙂

It’s best to write your plan on a physical piece of paper – not as an electronic note saved in your phone or tablet. It needs to be in front of you so you can see it first thing in the morning.

In the morning, when the alarm goes off, you won’t be thinking clearly and might even forget all about your aspirations, so keep this plan next to the bed or on the bathroom mirror so you can read it upon waking.


How to Feel Awake Early in the Morning

No one feels alert and ready to take on the world the second they wake up in the morning. However, by counting 5-4-3-2-1 and forcing yourself out of bed, you can implement a morning routine to awaken you fully and quickly.

Here is a quick highlight of the beginning of my morning routine:

5-4-3-2-1

I count backward from 5 on mornings where I have little to no willpower and I’m too cozy to get out of bed on my own. I count, rise to my feet, and mentally remind myself that waking up on time is how I will get what I want out of life.

Turn on the Light

After getting out of bed, I turn on the light in my bedroom and turn off the alarm.

Drink Water

I keep a glass of water on my nightstand that I always make sure to fill up the night before. After my feet are placed firmly on the floor and I’m out of the bed, I drink this glass of water.

Wash Your Face

Next, I grab some clean clothes, leave the bedroom, and head straight to the bathroom to turn on the light there. I then use the toilet and wash my face with an exfoliant scrub and warm water. I always spend an extra minute or so just scrubbing my face because it helps wake me up better.

Brush Your Teeth

Then I spend 2 to 3 minutes brushing my teeth and gums in a circular motion. I never rush this process because it also helps to wake me up in addition to cleaning my teeth and freshening my breath.

Take a Quick Shower

I like to take a very quick shower after I brush my teeth. I like to alternate the temperature of the water. I’ll wash with a normal warm temperature, then for 30 seconds I’ll turn the water on as cold as I can stand, then I’ll turn the temperature as hot as I can stand for another 30 seconds, then for a final 30 seconds I’ll turn the water back to as cold as I can stand. At that point, I turn off the water and get out of the shower.

Open the Curtains

After the shower, I walk back to my bedroom and open the curtains. Depending on the time of year, it might still be dark outside, but I draw the curtains anyway. When the sun does finally rise, the light will come into my bedroom without me having to remember to open the curtains.

Make Your Bed

I always make my bed after I open the curtains. It gives me an instant sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning and most importantly, it discourages me from crawling back into it. Don’t make it easy to go back to bed or else you’ll be scolding yourself the rest of the day.

Get Moving

The next step of my morning routine (before I get to things like eating, reading, and writing) I do some gentle stretching and light exercise. Sometimes, I’ll go outside and walk around the block, gradually increasing my pace or I’ll take my jump rope outside. Sometimes, I’ll do some push-ups, burpees, and high-knees at home. Occasionally, I’ll bring out my yoga mat and do a few yoga poses.

It doesn’t matter what you do, just be sure to move your body a little bit in the morning before expecting anything else from yourself. The older you get, the truer this will be. 🙂 You can’t expect your brain to be working properly until you’ve allowed your body to warm up for a few minutes.

Meditation

Admittedly, I don’t meditate every morning, but I try to do it a few times a week. When I do get around to it, I do it after I exercise so that I don’t feel like I’m falling asleep when I close my eyes. I also make sure to sit on a pillow or yoga mat on the floor to meditate.

I never meditate on my bed and I recommend that you don’t either. It’s best to only associate your bed with sleep.


this is how to wake up in the morning

Conclusion

By taking internal (i.e., fixing your attitude and finding a purpose) and external steps (i.e., removing electronic devices from the bedroom and keeping it neat) to teach yourself how to wake up in the morning without issues, you will find your life improving by leaps and bounds! But like I said, it’s up to you to put in the work and ignore the thoughts in your head that bring you down. Put your heart into waking up in the morning at an earlier hour and soon waking up in the morning will be like second nature.

I'm the owner of WhyGetUpEarly.com and an enthusiastic early riser. Let's discuss why that is... and maybe I can make you a believer in magical mornings as well!

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